Tag Archives: paleoentomology

An elegant living fossil…

In the insect world, hyperdiversity is the norm. More than a million species are known, and perhaps several million more await discovery. Beetles alone represent nearly a quarter of the earth’s described biota, with one genus (Agrilus in the family Buprestidae) bursting at … Continue reading

Posted in Hymenoptera, Pelecinidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

More Eocene insects

Most of the Green River Formation (GRF) insect fossils that I have on loan clearly represent either beetles (order Coleoptera) or flies (order Diptera). I’ve already shown a few of the latter (fungus gnat, midge), as well as some that … Continue reading

Posted in Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The 2nd-oldest Known Myrmicine Ant

Among the 20 or so insects represented in the Green River Formation (GRF) fossils that I currently have on loan, this rather obvious ant (family Formicidae) is the only one that is firmly assignable to the order Hymenoptera (wasps, bees … Continue reading

Posted in Formicidae, Hymenoptera | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A 50-million-year-old midge

Several of the insect fossils collected from the Green River Formation (45–50 mya) that I am photographing appear to be flies, and specifically members of the “primitive” suborder Nematocera. This is not surprising, as the G.R. Formation of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, … Continue reading

Posted in Chironomidae, Diptera | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An elegant Eocene fly

Here is one of the more elegantly preserved specimens among the collection of Green River Formation fossil insects that I am photographing. It is obviously a fly (order Diptera), but I don’t agree with the preliminary identification of “Mosquito?” as indicated … Continue reading

Posted in Diptera, Mycetophilidae, Sciaridae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Beetle, orthop or something else?

I had such helpful participation with my first fossil ID request that I thought I would go to the well again. This one is not so enigmatic as the first—it is clearly an insect, but it’s the only insect fossil among … Continue reading

Posted in [No taxon] | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Spider, insect or something else?

I recently received a batch of fossil insects from a local fossil collector, who is hoping that I and other local entomologists will be able to provide some level of identification beyond just “insect.” All are from the Green River Formation, … Continue reading

Posted in [No taxon] | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments